Bath Booksellers’ Top Bath Reads

By Izzy Fitzharris, in collaboration with Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, Waterstones and Topping & Company

As a city with a rich literary history, from Jane Austen to Mary Shelley, it follows that Bath is also home to some fantastic bookshops. We asked the booksellers from Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, Waterstones and Topping & Company to tell us about their favourite books set in or about Bath. Happy reading!

Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights

1) Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey – Peter Diamond, Bath head of CID, investigates misdeeds on Lansdown and around Beckford’s Tower.

2) Ghost Signs of Bath by Andrew Swift & Kirsten Elliott – history of Bath’s defunct businesses through the fascinating signs still visible on its walls.

3) The Sack of Bath by Adam Fergusson – A handsome reissue by Persephone Books of this 1973 illustrated attack on the horrendous planning policies that threatened Bath’s cultural and architectural history for decades.

4) Numbers by Rachel Ward – First in a gritty YA series full of real-life issues around justice and race from one of Bath’s many resident novelists for younger readers.

5) Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman – first part of a gripping fantasy series set in Bath’s secret mirror city of Aquae Sulis. 


1) Brown’s Bath: The Work of Peter Brown by Peter E.M. Brown & Jonathan Benington – Beautiful paintings of the Georgian city by one of its own.

2) The Sack of Bath by Adam Fergusson – See above; so good it's made this list twice!

3) Walks Around Bathampton: Discovering the Rural Beauty of Eastern Bath by Callum Christie & Prabir Nandi – A guide to a stunning area of Bath; perfect for walking.

4) Pevsner Architectural Guides: Bath by Michael Forsyth – An illustrated guide to Bath's architecture, including maps for easy navigation.

5) Another One Goes Tonight by Peter Lovesey – In the same series as Skeleton Hill, this book follows Peter Diamond as he investigates a police car accident.

Topping & Company

1) From Bath Chaps to Bara Brith: The Taste of South West Britain by Laura Mason & Catherine Brown – A guide to the culinary specialities of the South West.

2) The Bath Book of Days by D.G. Amphlett – A day-by-day guide to events from Bath's history, going from the present right back to Roman times.

3) Bath by Kirsten Elliot & Neill Menneer – Bath's story, illustrated with hundreds of colour photographs.

4) Literary Walks in Bath: Eleven Excursions in the Company of Eminent Authors by Andrew Swift & Kirsten Elliot – A fully illustrated guide to eleven walks looking at Bath through the eyes of its literary greats.

5) On Foot in Bath: Fifteen Walks around a World Heritage City by Andrew Swift – Fifteen walks accompanied by commentary from an expert on Bath's history, including lesser-known and hidden sites in and around the city.

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